Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Early Louis Bonert: 4th Avenue, 1884

A reader who is helping conduct research for a possible expansion of the Park Slope Historic District sends along a tip about some buildings by Louis Bonert on the west side of 4th Avenue, at the northwest corner of Bergen Street. They are outside our Study Area, and technically not even in Park Slope, but we thought we'd include them here anyway, along with all the other Bonerts, since we are "completists" to a degree.

They are a group of five three-story, mixed-use buildings (flats over stores). Our correspondent found the following listing in the American Architect & Building News from 1884:

"Building Intelligence; Brooklyn," AABN vol. 15, no. 437 (May 10, 1884): p. 227.
-- "Fourth Ave., n w cor. Bergen St., 5 three-st'y brick stores and tenements, tn roofs; cost for all, $25,750; owner, Albert Scales, 378 Van Brunt St.; architect and carpenter, Louis Bonert."

We didn't include the west side of Fourth Avenue in our comprehensive Park Slope photo archive, but it is possible to use Google's "street view" to examine the corner. And, apparently, all five buildings are still there today, in nearly original condition. We particularly like the quoins on the corner building:

70-62 Fourth Avenue

The upzoning of Fourth Avenue a few years ago unleashed a building frenzy that has seen many of the original, "first growth" buildings replaced by new, mid-rise apartment houses. The Great Recession has lessened development pressures somewhat. Even so, we suspect these 1884 buildings by Louis Bonert won't be around much longer.

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